Achilles tendinopathy affects competitive and recreational athletes as well as people who are not active. The incidence of Achilles tendon rupture in the general population is approximately 5 to 10 per 100,000, but may be higher in some regions and populations, and is increasing overall. Over 80 percent of ruptures occur during recreational sports. Approximately 10 percent of patients who sustain an Achilles tendon rupture had preexisting Achilles tendon problems.
Observational data suggest that competitive athletes have a lifetime incidence of Achilles tendinopathy of 24 percent, with 18 percent sustained by athletes younger than 45 years. Tendon rupture occurs in 8.3 percent of competitive athletes. Among competitive runners, the lifetime incidence of Achilles tendinopathy may be as high as 40 to 50 percent.